“I was getting closer to my creative life all year. I just didn’t realize it, because it wasn’t a step-by-step “extreme makeover” version where five weeks later I’m like, Now I’m a published author. Or, Now I can quit my day job. But all these other things happened. And now it’s been 14 weeks? And I mean, I’m rolling.”
Jennifer Shiman came back to her career in animation determined to have a better relationship with her work. “This is an opportunity to really create not only a sustainable way to earn a living, but a sustainable work process, which is necessary for my health.”
So how does one go from a slow-burn collaborative podcast to putting out a full, cohesive season of a narrative podcast in one year? With a whole lot of extremely focused action, and a laser focus on one goal.
A few weeks ago, I assigned my art students a fun project, a “forgery” of an artist they admire and want to learn from. One student picked Michelangelo. (I talked her down from trying a fresco—in two weeks—to imitating his red chalk studies.) She copied his work in her sketchbook every day. She went to
Michael’s biggest takeaway from the Creative Focus Workshop was breaking a project down to stages, and then tracking weekly. “I know exactly what to do in the time I want to spend on making art. There’s always something specific to do. You don’t have to wonder and get lost in it.”